The next morning, Jamie and I woke up to the sound of our neighbors, Susanne and Darren, getting out of their tent. We quickly started deflating our air mattresses and packing up everything else in our tent. I hadn't had too much practice repacking everything, so I didn't know how long it would take; and, I didn't want to make everybody else wait. While it didn't take as long to pack up as I feared, I was still glad that I got an early start. About the time we got everything inside the tent packed, it started to rain. It rained pretty hard for about a minute or two, then turned to a light drizzle. But we were able to shake most of the water off of our tent and get it packed up. We ate our breakfast of champions (poptarts) and then got everybody loaded into the cars. By this time, the rain had mostly stopped. Before hitting the trail, we had to make a short trip to the ranger's station to pick up our backcountry permits. After that, we headed up the road to the The Lake of the Clouds where we snapped a few photos. The overlook of the lake is located on the top of a tall cliff, known as the escarpment. It was very scenic.
Below is a picture of our entire group, all nine of us.
And then me, my wife Jamie, and my brother Jon.
From there, Darren, Mike, Jon, and I left the others to drop off one of the cars at where we were ending the trip so we wouldn't be stranded. We drove about 45 minutes west, dropped off Darren's Jetta, and drove about 45 minutes back. Right before getting back to The Lake of the Clouds, I dropped Darren, Jon, and Mike off at the trailhead of the Lake Superior Trail along with everybody's gear. I then went back to The Lake of the Clouds, picked up Jamie, Justin, Nicole, Susanne, and Kelly, then went back to the trailhead. By this time it was about 11:30. Everybody put on their packs, and we were finally off. The hiking had begun.
We were hiking mostly down hill over rocks and roots as we made our way to the shoreline of Lake Superior. We hiked a couple miles before we decided to stop for lunch. We had lunch on some rocks overlooking the lake. It definitely felt good to take the pack off.
Our lunches for the trip consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches, cliff bars, homemade trail mix, and a few fruit snacks. After the mornings of hiking, it tasted like the best food in the world. After one last glance of the shoreline, we were off hiking again.
I think we hiked roughly 8 miles that day. We stumbled accross our campsite in the early afternoon. The campsite was located on the shore of Lake Superior.
There was a butterfly at the campsite that wouldn't leave us alone.
While hanging around the campground, Justin went and caught a frog. Then, my brother Jon decided to share with us a very interesting and unusual fact about frogs. Apparently if you rub a frog's belly, you can put it in a trance. So Justin immediately started rubbing the frog's belly, and it worked.
Yep, still rubbing the frog's belly.
I would like to note that no frogs were harmed in the taking of these photographs.
After that, Susan and Darren treated us to a dinner of chicken and pasta. We cleaned the dishes and packed up our food. When out on backpacking trips like this, you need to store your food in a place where animals (like bears) can't reach. So most campsites have a bear pole a little ways off into the woods. If you were wondering how much food it takes to feed 9 people on a backpacking trip, it takes a lot. On top of that, we have to carry it all.
We spent a little while on the shoreline before we called it a night.
One day of hiking down. So far, so good.